Sami Zayn, the latest challenger for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, has sparked conversation both online and in the arenas with his recent gauntlet match victory on WWE Raw. Despite some backlash from online fans who were rooting for Chad Gable, Zayn remains focused on the reactions of the live audiences, emphasizing the importance of their response to his performances.

In a recent interview with Sean Campbell and Mitch Gallo on Habs Lunch, Zayn shared his thoughts on social media commentary versus live audience reactions. While acknowledging the importance of social media feedback, Zayn highlighted that the true measure of his success lies in the genuine reactions of the fans attending WWE events.

Zayn clarified that while social media is useful in the wrestling business, he feels that online perspectives are sometimes biased by their inherent “contrarian” character. Whereas fans’ reactions in the arena represent their direct and unfiltered reactions to his performance.

You’ll notice that the live house, including on television, and not just television, but when you go town to town, to me, that’s where my bread is buttered. Those are the people I cater to. It’s not always 100% in line with the slightly more fickle or opinionated voices that you’re going to hear on social media. Social media’s whole function in ‘voice your opinion.’ One must construct an opinion. In doing so, it’s inherently meant to be contrarian or controversial or whatever. You’re meant to be opinionated, whereas when you’re watching a live show or on television, you’re meant to consume it. I cater to consumption. I’m the entertainer, I’m the performer, and the viewer is the consumer of that performance. Afterwards, online, is the oppinionate aspect of it. To me, the real truth is in the live reaction.


“For example, in my storyline with Gunther, because it was an interesting storyline where there was another good guy in competition for that match in Chad Gable, the online reaction was a little surprising of, ‘ah man, we really want to see Chad Gable,’ which is true and he does get great responses, but arena to arena, you’re not getting negative backlash. They’re excited to see what they’re going to see. There is zero doubt in my mind that when I’m in the ring with Gunther at WrestleMania, they’re going to be behind me, excited to watch that match, and be along for the ride. At the end of the day, I’m not one of these people that discount social media, I think there is a lot of validity to listening to that audience, to an extent, I don’t think it’s necessarily the hill you want to die on. I think the more honest reaction and what you truly need to judge by is the reaction in the arena night in and night out. That’s where the real truth is. I’m not poo-pooing the internet or social media, I think it’s very important and should be respected, but when it comes down to it, how are the people in the seats in the arenas, how are they reacting? I think that’s the most important thing.”

With his upcoming showdown against Gunther at WrestleMania 40, Zayn remains confident that the live audience will rally behind him, showcasing his belief that in-person fan interactions are always better. As the anticipation builds for Zayn’s championship opportunity, fans can hardly wait the culmination of his storyline with Gunther.

What are your thoughts on the dynamic between online opinions and live audience reactions in professional wrestling? Let us know in the comments!

Shubham Banerjee

Shubham Banerjee is a computer science student. Shubham's love for technology, gadgets and coding pushed him to pursue a career in this field. Shubham's personal interests include photography, exploring all kinds of music and football. Being disappointed with Barcelona's performance in Europe is the only constant in his life.

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